Fight­ing In­ten­si­fies Be­tween In­dia, Pak­istan

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New Delhi:

Shelling and gun­fire in­ten­si­fied on Wed­nes­day on the de facto bor­der be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan in the Kash­mir re­gion, killing nine civil­ians on a bus one day af­ter the In­dian Army promised retri­bu­tion for what it said was the killing of three of its soldiers.

Pak­istan said In­dian troops fired on a bus in the Nee­lam Val­ley on Pak­istan’s side of the Line of Con­trol in the dis­puted Kash­mir re­gion, killing the nine passengers and se­ri­ously wound­ing nine oth­ers.

The In­dian mil­i­tary also fired on res­cue work­ers in an am­bu­lance try­ing to reach the wounded, Pak­istan said. In other violence re­ported on Wed­nes­day, the In­dian mil­i­tary also killed three Pak­istani soldiers, in­clud­ing a cap­tain, Pak­istan said, and Pak­istani forces re­tal­i­ated, killing seven In­dian soldiers.

A high-level Pak­istani diplo­mat, Deputy High Com­mis­sioner Syed Haider Shah, called the violence “a se­ri­ous es­ca­la­tion of the sit­u­a­tion” and a “grave breach of in­ter­na­tional and humanitarian law.”

Brig. P. S. Go­tra of the In­dian Army’s north­ern com­mand de­fended In­dia’s ac­tions but did not com­ment on Pak­istan’s al­le­ga­tions that In­dian forces had tar­geted civil­ians and fired on an am­bu­lance.

“It was a proper fire as­sault from our side as a retri­bu­tion of yes­ter­day’s in­ci­dent,” said Bri­gadier Go­tra, re­fer­ring to the killing of three In­dian soldiers on Tues­day. He de­nied that any In­dian soldiers had been killed on Wed­nes­day.

The In­dian Army, on its of­fi­cial Twit­ter site, said the di­rec­tors gen­eral of mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions of the two sides held talks on a hot­line on Wed­nes­day even­ing at Pak­istan’s re­quest.

Nine die in In­dian shelling of Kash­mir bus.

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